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Full text of "Minutes of the thirteenth annual session of the North River Baptist Association (Ala.) 1847"

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-== Friday, Sept 24, 1847. 

1. Elder Jesse Walden, who was appointed to deliver the anniversary 
discourse, failing to attend, Elder David W. Andrews his alternate, deli- 
vered an appropriate discourse from the 2d chapter of Paul's letter to the 
Ephesians, and from the 11th to the 22d verses inclusive. 

2. After a recess of one hour, the delegates assembled in the Meeting- 
house, prayer by Elder B. B. Smith. 

3. Read the letters from corresponding Churches, and enrolled the names 
of the delegates. # 

4. An invitation was extended to churches desirous of uniting with this 
body. The Pleasant Hill Church, Fayette county, and Antioc, Marion 
county, newly constituted, presented letters praying admission, which 
were received, and the right hand of fellowship extended to their delegates 
by the Moderator. 

5. Re-elected Elder David W. Andrews Moderator, and Thomas M. 
Gabbert, Clerk. 

• 6. Received correspondence from our sister, the Chickasaw Association; 
letter and minutes by the hand of Elder James Boswell. ^ 

' 7. Appointed the following committees : 1st. On Arrangement, bretll- 
ren Richards, Shepherd, Ray, Black, and Files, with the Moderator and 
Clerk. 2d. To arrange Preaching, brethren Bowlin, Markham, Dollar, 
Smith, and Jones. 3d. On Finance, brethren Catledge, Deason and Mc- 

8. On motion, adjourned until to-morrow 9 o'clock. Prayer by Elder 
James Boswell. 

Saturday, Sept. 25, 1847. 

9. Met pursuant to adjournment. Prayer by the Moderator. 

10. Called the names of the delegates, and marked absentees. 

11. The committee of arrangement made their report, which was re- 
ceived, and the committee discharged. 

12. Read Constitution and Rules of Decorum. 

13. Appointed the next annual session of this body to be held with Pil- 
grim's Rest Church, Fayette county, to commence on Friday before the 
4th Sabbath in September, 1848 ; and that Elder B. B. Smith be appoint- 
ed to preach the anniversary sermon, and Elder Thomas M. Gabbert his 

14. Appointed Elder Jesse Walden to preach a missionary sermon at 11 
o'clock on Sabbath of our next Association, and Elder David W. Andrews 
his alternate ; also to take up a public collection for the purpose of domes- 
tic missions. 

15. Appointed Elder B. B. Smith to prepare a Circular Letter, (with the 
liberty of choosing his own subject,) and present the same to the next an- 
nual session of this body. 

16. Appointed Corresponding Messengers. To the Chickasaw Associa- 
tion, Elders B. B. Smith, David W. Andrews, Jesse Walden, and brother 
Alson Catledge ; Elder David W. Andrews to write the corresponding let- 
ter ; also agreed to petition the Big Bear Creek Association for correspond- 
ence with their body ; and that brethren A. J. Smith, Joel Rushing, A. 
Lawrence, and Elder David W. Andrews be appointed corresponding mes- 
sengers, and that Elder B. B. Smith write the corresponding letter. 


17. Appointed a committee of brethren Willis Richards, B. B. Smith, 
Michael Shepherd, Alson Catledge, and Isaac Shepherd to revise our plan 
of missionary operations, and report Monday morning. \*^^ 

18. Received appointments for District meetings, viz ; ,.,,1 

1st District — The meeting to be held with Bethlehem church, to commence on Friday be-x, 
fore the first Sabbath in September, 1848: Elder B. B. Smith to preach the Introductory se'r-n 
mon, and Elder Lewis Harbin his alternate. 2d District — The meeting to be held with Ebe- ' 
nezer church, to commence on Friday before the second Sabbath in September, 1848 ; El- 
der Abner Files to preach the Introductory sermon, and Elder Thomas M. Gabbert his alter- 
nate. 4th District — The meetmg to be h^d with Bethel Church, to commence on Friday 
before the fourth Sabbath in July, 1847 ; Elder B. B. Smith to preach the Introductory ser- 
mon, and Elder Jesse Walden his alternate. 

19. The committee on Finance report as follows : For printing minutes, 
$22 25; for Associational purposes $10 50; in the hands of the clerk,^ 
f 1 32 1-2 — making f 11 82 1-2 for Associational purposes. !,' 

20. Took up the query from Shepherd Church — Is it right for a minis- - 
ter of the Gospel, holding a letter of dismission, to take the pastoral care 
of a Church, and administer the ordinances of the Gospel ? We answer, 
that under ordinary circumstances, it is not. 

21. On motion, adjourned until Monday mornmg, 9 o'clock — prayer by 
Elder B. B. Smith. 

[The stand was occupied on Sabbath by Elders Henry Andrews, Smith 
and Boswell, who preached to a large and attentive congregation. There . 
was much feeling on the part of the congregation on the subject of reli- 

Monday, Sept. 27. 

22. Met pursuant to adjournment — prayer by Elder James Boswell. 

23. The committee on revising our plan of Missionary operations, made 
their report, which was received, and the committee discharged. 

24. We your committee appointed to draft a resolution to improve our 
plan of obtaining funds for the support of our Domestic Mission, beg leave 
to report as follows : 

Resolved, That we advise the Churches in our Union to take up a monthly collection for 
the support of our Domestic Mission, and that each Church appoint a treasurer to receive 
what each member may be willing to contribute, and pay over to the Executive board the a- 
mount paid in by the Church ; and furthermore we advise the Executive board to have a 
meeting every four months, at which time it shall be their duty to bring the amount collect- 
ed at their respective Churches, and we further advise that a public collection be taken up at 
each District meeting, for tlie above named purpose. 

All of which we respectfully submit to your body. 

rfti7/ rK,'!;: ISAAC SHEPHERD, Chairman. 

25. Appointed an Executive committee, composed of brethren Lewis 
Stanly, Willis Richards, John Yerby, Lewis Sherley, Silvester Baker, Ro- 
bert Berry, James Files, William Keeten, Giles Jones, Isaac Shepherd, Ja- 
cob Black, Daniel Kerklin, Hiram Smith, Hutson Butler, John Ray, Ed- 
mond G. Terrell, Robert Bowlan, James Wilson, Samuel Webster^ Allen 
Wallis. 'i' .01 o!r;:i 

26. Resolved, That the first meeting of tlie Executive board be at Union church, on Sa- 
turday before the first Sabbath in February, 1848. The second at Shepherd church, on Sa- 
turday before the second Sabbath in June following. The third at our next Association. 

27. Resolved, That the brother Clerk have Ten Dollars for his services. 

28. Resolved, That the brother Clerk superintend the printing of the Minutes, and distri- 

faute them to the Distributing Agents in each District, after retaining 50 copies for corres- 
pondence ; and that he have as many copies struck as he can for the money sent. 

29. Appointed the following brethren Distributing Agents. 1st District, Thomas M. Gab- 
bert ; 2d District, Lewis Harbin ; 3d District, John Savage ; 4th District, Jacob Lindley. 

30. Resolved unanimously, That our sincere thanks are due the brethren and friends of 
Zion Church for the kind and hospitable entertainment afforded us during our meeting, and 
the same is hereby tendered. 

31. After singing, and prayer by the Moderator, adjourned to the time and place of our 
next appomtment 

DAVID W. ANDREWS, Moderator. 
Thomas M. Gabbert, Clerk. ' 


Beloved Brethren : This Report closes the scene of my Missionary tour for the nine 
months, that you employed me to ride. I have spent my time most generally with the Church- 
es in the bounds of the North River Association ; during which time I have aided in the con- 
stitution of two churches. Fair View, in theN.E. corner of Tuskaloosa county, and Pleasant 
Hill in the S. W. corner of Fayette county ; and I would further remark, that the above nam- 
ed churches were constituted upon the principles of entire abstinence from the use of ai dent 
spirits : and again, in the above specified term, I have rode 3254 miles, preached 156 sermons, 
delivered 33 exhortations, baptized 41 converts, ordained 3 ministers, 4 deacons, and seceived 
$200 for the support of the Domestic Mission. All of which is humbly submitted. 


BteibvED Brethren : I have rode 52 days, preached 35 sermons, delivered 12 exhorta- 
tions, baptised 20 converts, and received $39 for the support of the Domestic Mission. All 
ofwhich is humbly submitted, JOSI AH WINTER. 

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! '.->rT;.>.r.,T RULES OF DECORUM. 
Rule 1. The Association shall be opened and closed with prayer. 
Rule 2. But one person shall speak at a time, and he shall rise and address 

the Moderator. ."'^ 7l;r'',' T '..'■';' ":" "-T 

,Rule 3. No member shall be interrupted ivhile s^^aikin'^', unless he dep'irts 
from the subject in question, or uses words of personal reflection. 

Rule 4. Every motion made and seconded, shall come under the conside- 
ration of the Association, except withdrawn by him who made it. 

Rule 5. Every case taken up by the Association shall first be decided, ot •' 
withdrawn before another is offered. 

Rule 6. When any question is taken up by the Association, after allowing 
time for debate, the Moderator shall take the'question by yeas and nays, or 
otherwise- The decision thus made shall be announced by the Moderator 

Rule 7, No persdn shall depar't from the service of the Association with- 
out leave of the Moderator. 

Rule 8. No person shall speak more than twice on the same subject, "vyithr 
out leave obtained. i ..j,,,; 

Rule 9. The appellation of brother shall be used in our addresses one to 

Rule 10. The Moderator shall be entitled to the same privileges as any 
other member, provided he appoints some other member to fill his seat, while 
speaking or otherwise, but shall not vote unless the Association be equally 

Rule 11. Any member violating the above rules, may be reproved, as the 
Association may think proper, only on the same day the oflTence shall have 






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1st. Of the Scriptures.— We believe the Holy Bible was written by men divinely 
inspired, and is a perfect treasure of heavenly instruction; that it has God for its au- 
thor, Salvation for its end, and Truth without any mixture of error for its matter; 
that it reveals the principles by which God will judge us; and therefore is, and 
shall remain to the end of the world, the True centre of Christian Union, and the 
supreme standard by which all human conduct, creeds and opinions should be tried, 

2d. Of the true God.— That there is one, and only one, true and living God, whose 
name is Jehovah, the Maker and Supreme Ruler of Heaven and Earth, inexpressi- 
bly glorious in holiness; worthy of all possible honor, confidence and love; revealed 
>under the personal and relative distinctiotiof tiieFatlper, the Son, and the Holy Glwst; 


equal in every divine perfection, and executing distinct but iiarmonlous offices in lUe 
great work of redemption. 

3d. Of the Fall of Man. — That man was created in a state of holiness, under 
the law of his Maimer, but by voluntary transgression fell from that holy and happy 
state, in consequence of which all mankind are now sinners, not by constraint but 
choice; being by nature utterly void of that holiness required by the law of God, 
wholly given to thegratiticationof the world, ofsatan,andof their own sinl''ul passions, 
and therefore under just commendation to eternal ruin, without defence or excuse. 

4th. Of the Way of Salvation. — That the salvation of sinners is wholly of grace, 
through the meditorial offices of the Son of God, who took upon him our nature, 
yet without sin; honored the law by his personal obedience, and, made attonemenl 
for our sins by his death; being risen from the dead, he is now enthroned in Heaven; 
and uniting in his wonderful person the tenderest sympathies with divine perfec- 
tions, is every way qualified to be a suitable, a compassionate, and an all-sufficient 

5th. Of Justification. — That the great Gospel blessing, which Christ of his full- 
ness bestows on such as believe in Him, is justification; that justification consists in the 
pardon of sin and the promise of eternal life, pn principles of righteousness that it is 
bestowed not in consideration otany works of righteousness; which we have done, but 
solely through his own redemption and righteousness, that it brings us into a state of 
most blessed peace and favor vvith God, and secures every other blessing needful for 
time and eternity. 

6th. Of the Frecness of Salvation. — That tlie blessings of salvation are made free 
to all by the Gospel; that it is the immediate duty of all to accept them by a cordial 
and obedient faith: and thai nothing prevents the salvation of the greatest sinner on 
earth, except his own voluntary refusal to submit to the Rord .lesus Christ; which re- 
fusal will subject him to an aggravated condemnation. 

7th. Of Grace in Regeneration. — That in order to be saved, weTmust be regene- 
rated or born again; that regeneration consists in giving a holy disposition to the 
mind, and is effected in a manner above our comprehension or calculation, by the 
power of the holy Spirit; so as to secure our voluatary obedience to the Gospel, and that 
its proper evidence is found in the holy fruit which we bring forth to the glory of God. 

8th. Of God's Purpose of Grace. — That election is the gracious purpose of God, 
according to which lie regenerates, sanctifies, and saves sinners; that being perfect- 
ly consistent with the free agency of man, it comprehends all the means in connec- 
tion with the end: that it is a most glorious display of God's sovereign goodness, 
being infinitely wise, holy and unchangeable; that it utterly excludes boasting, and 
promotes liumilily, prayer, praise, trust in God; and active imitation of his frqe 
mercy; that it encourages the use of means in the highest degree; that it is ascer- 
tained by its effects in all who believe the Gospel: it is the foundation of Christian 
assurance; and ti)at to ascertain it with regard to ourselves, demands and deserves 
our most dilligence. 

9th. Of the Perseverance of Saints. — That such only are real believers as en- 
dure unto the end; that their preserving attachment to Christ is the grand mark 
which distinguishes them from superficial professors; that a special Providence 
watches over tl>eir welfare; and they are kept by the power of God through faitii un- 
to salvation. 

10th. Harmony of the Laiv and Go.spel. — That the law of God is the eternal and 
unchangeable rule of His .noral government; that it is holy, just and good; and 
that the inability which the Scriptures ascribe to fallen men to fulfil its precepts, 
arises entirely from their loveof sin; to deliver them from which, and to restore them 
through a Mediator to unfeigned obedience to the holy law, is one great end of the 
Gospel, and of the means of grace connected with the establishment of the visible 

11th. Of a Gospel Church. — That a visible Church of Christ is a congregation 

' f baptised believer.s, associated by covenant in the faith and fellowship of the (tos- 

el; observing the ordiiiances ofChirst; governed by his laws: and exerci.sins '' ^ 

■:. ._^^^ ..^^^^ ■ .. , ^^ •, 7 

gifts, nglits'and privileges invested' in them by His word; tiiat its only |) roper officers' 
are bishops or pastors and deacons, whose qualifications, claims, and duties are de- 
fined in the epistles to Timothy and Tilus. 

12th. Of Baptism and the Lord's SMj?per.— That Christian Baptism is the im- 
mersion of a believer in water, in the name of the Father, Son, and Spirit; to show 
forth in a solemn and beautiful emblem, our faith in a crucified, buried and risen 
Saviour; with its puryfying power; that it is pre-requisite to the privileges of a church 
relation; and to the* Lord's Supper, in which the members of the Church, by the use 
of bread and wine, are to commemorate together the dying love of Christ; preceded 
always by solemn self-examination. ' 

13th. Of the Christian Sabbath.— That the first day of the week is the Lord's 
Day, or Christian Sabbath, and is to be kept sacred to religious purposes, by abstain- 
ing from all secular labor and recreations; by the devout observance of all the means 
of grace, both private and public; and by preparation for that rest which remuineth' 
for the people of God. 

14th. OfauzY Gouernmerji.— That civil government is of divine appointment, for 
the interests and good order of human society; and that magistrates are to be pray- 
ed for, conscientuously honored, and obeyed, except in things opposed to the will of 
our Lord Jesus Christ, who is the only Lord of the conscience, and the Prince of the 
kings of the earth. 

15th. Of the Righteous and the Wicked.— That ihere is a radicial and essential 
difference between the righteous and the wicked; that such only as through faith are- 
justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and sanctified by the Spirit of our God, are 
truly righteous in His esteem; while ail such as continue in impenitence and unbe- 
lief are in His sight wicked, and under the curse, and this distinction holds among 
men both in and after death. 

16th. Of the World to Come. — That the end of this world is approaching, and that 
at the last day, Christ will descend from Heaven and raise the dead from the grave 
to final retribution; that a solemn seperation will then take place; that the wicked 
will be adjudged to endless punishment, and the righteous to endless joy; and that 
this judgment will fix forever the final state of men in heaven or hell, on principles 
of righteousness. 


We, the United Baptist Churches of Jesus Chist, are desirous of a reciprocal 
union. We therefore propose to maintain the order and rules of an Association, ac- 
cording to the following plan: 

We believe that the Churches of Christ are mutually independent of each other; 
and that the congregational form ofchurch government should be inviolably preserv- 
ed; yet being convinced of the utility of friendly intercouse and pious counsels, on 
the principles of reciprocal advantage and christian love; we hold it to be a duty of 
the Churches to pay respect on these principles, to the advice of the Association. 

Art. 1. This Association shall be composed of members chosen by the different 
churches in our Union; who, on producing letters from their respective churches, cer- 
tifying their appointment, shall be entitled to seats. The letters so produced shall 
express the condition of their churches respectively viz: the number in fellowship, 
the number received by baptism, by letters, by secession, restored, dismissed, excom- 
municated, and dead, since the last Association; which letters shall be read, and the 
delegates name enrolled. 

Art. 2. The members thus chosen and convened, shall be known by the name 
of the North River United Baptist Association. 

Art. 3. We declare ourselves a Missionary body on the following plan. The 
Association may appoint an executive committee composed of one member from 
each church, to be appointed annually; whose duty it shall be, to employ a Mission- 
ary or Missionaries to travel and preach the gospel to the destitute in her bounds; and 
to enlarge their field of labor if necessary; and furthermore it shall be 'the duty 


of said committee to appoint a Treasurer to take cliarge of all moneys paid over by 
the several churches for the support of the domestic mission, also said treasurer shall 
make a correct report at each and every annual session of this body of all the monies 
received— expenditures, and the surplus on hand, if any; which report shall be af. 
fixed to the Minutes of the Association. 

Art. 4. The Association thus formed shall choose by ballot, a Moderator and 
•Clerk, who shall serve one year. 

Art. 5. This body shall have no coercive power to lord it over God's heritage, 
•or to infringe on any of the internal privilegs or rights of the Churches in our Union,^ 
^but shall only be considered an advisory council in all matters respecting their inter- 
nal concerns. 

Art. 6. To give churches the best advice she can in all matters of difficulty, and 
if the union should be broken between any ot the sister churches, to inquire into the 
cause of the breach, and use her best endeavors to remove the difficulty; but if the 
breach cannot be repaired, to withdraw from any church or churches, which they 
may look upon to be unsound in principle, or immoral in practice, until they be re- 

Art. 7. To take up no case of any Church in the Union, without the consent of a 
majority of the Church. 

Art. 8. Newly constituted or dismissed Churches, may be received into our Un- 
ion, by their representatives, chosen as before stated; and the Moderator shall signi- 
fy the same by giving them the right hand of fellowship. 

Art. 9. The Association, when convened, shall be governed by such rules as she 
may adopt. She may adjourn from day to day, until she shall have finished all the 
business that may be brought before her. 

Art. 10. Every Church shall be entitled to a representation ofthree members. 

Art. 11. To have the Minutes of the Association read, and altered, if necessary, 
and signed by the Moderator and Clerk before the Association rises, and have them 
printed if she thinks proper. 

Art. 12. The Association shall, in all cases, be governed by a majority of the 
members present. 

Art. 18. Voting shall be confined exclusively to the body, m all acts respepting 
their internal concerns. 

Art. 14. To amend the plan or form of government at any time, when a ma- 
jority of the Union shall deem it necessary.